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Job #: R-00091475
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Category: Research Scientist
Schedule (FT/PT): Full Time
Travel Required: Yes, 10% of the time
Shift: Day
Potential for Telework: Yes, 10%
Clearance: None
Referral Eligibility: Ineligible
Group: Civil

This job posting is no longer active.

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Job Description:

The Leidos Research Support Team supporting the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is seeking an Environmental Geochemist to join our Team in Pittsburgh, PA.  This opportunity will allow side by side execution of research with world-class scientists and engineers using state of the art equipment to contribute to new areas of basic and applied research. The employee will involve a multidisciplinary team, participation alongside other engineers, geologists, and data scientists to help develop next-generation tools aligned to the priorities of the DOE Fossil Energy and Carbon Management mission space.  

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Perform experiments to develop, characterize and optimize sorbents to enrich lithium (Li) from waste streams.
  • Perform tasks to field sample different acid mine drainage (AMD) treatment solids and waters, conduct initial processing and characterization; designed specific leaching protocols to optimize and scale-up the extraction of rare earth elements and critical metals (e.g., cobalt, nickel and zinc) out of different AMD solids based on characterization.
  • Develop chelator ion chromatography (CIC) method on critical mineral characterization (e.g., rare earth elements, cobalt, nickel, and zinc) in experimental and field samples; and assist data collection, aggregation, processing, and interpretation of ion chromatographs (IC) for analysis of metals, inorganic and organic molecules, redox sensitive species, and critical minerals.
  • Collaborating with interdisciplinary team, including geologists and other science researchers to assist each other in accomplishing project-related tasks
  • Building relationships with internal and external clients
  • Creating and delivers oral and poster presentations of results
  • Publications in high quality scientific peer-reviewed journals, presentations at national and international technical meetings.
  • Development of new intellectual property based on the innovative research.
  • Period status reporting and project reports (weekly/monthly/quarterly/annually) is required to update project managers and clients.
  • This position will require extensive interface with clients and potential collaborative partners, so excellent verbal and written communication skills are required.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in geochemistry, environmental science, geology, materials characterization, or similar field with 1+ year experience
  • Applicants must have basic knowledge of critical mineral recovery (e.g., lithium, cobalt and nickel), mineralogy and crystallography, analytical chemistry, fate and transport of trace metals, and field collection and sample processing for environmental and geological samples
  • Laboratory experiences in studying mineral synthesis and characterization (e.g., iron, manganese, and/or aluminum oxides), solid leaching, solid and/or aqueous characterization and using analytical instruments (e.g., IC, ICP) for environmental samples are desired.
  • Must have field experience with water or soil sampling and processing
  • Understanding of and experience in surface and subsurface environments and rare earth elements/critical minerals

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. degree preferred
  • Previous knowledge of acid mine drainage (AMD) and AMD treatment systems is preferred.
  • Previous knowledge of sorbent synthesis and characterization (e.g., kinetics, sorption/desorption isotherms) is preferred.
  • Experience in applications leveraging advanced analytics for energy and environmental systems.  Applicants should also have a strong characterization background, including but not limited to: Raman Spectroscopy, Synchrotron microprobe (e.g., micro-X-Ray fluorescence, micro-X-Ray Adsorption Spectroscopy), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), IC or ICP, UV-vis and sequential extraction. 
  • Experience is preferred in the handling of complex geochemical specimens, creating data reports with proper quality assurance/quality control, developing new instrumental methods based on sample matrices and analytes of interests, and conducting instrument maintenance with independent problem diagnosing and solving abilities.
  • Evidence of substantive participation in environmental and/or geologic scientific community.

Program Specific Salary Range: $75K to $85K

Pay Range:

Pay Range $60,450.00 - $93,000.00 - $125,550.00

The Leidos pay range for this job level is a general guideline only and not a guarantee of compensation or salary. Additional factors considered in extending an offer include (but are not limited to) responsibilities of the job, education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities, as well as internal equity, alignment with market data, applicable bargaining agreement (if any), or other law.

Covid Guidance for the US

In order to enter Leidos facilities in the U.S. and to attend Leidos events outside our facilities, employees are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or maintain proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 96 hours of entry. In addition, we are receiving guidance from certain customers that onsite contractor personnel will need to be fully vaccinated to access customer facilities. If you are not vaccinated, please consider getting your COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please contact your Talent Acquisition POC. 

About Leidos

Leidos is a Fortune 500® technology, engineering, and science solutions and services leader working to solve the world’s toughest challenges in the defense, intelligence, civil, and health markets. The company’s 44,000 employees support vital missions for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Leidos reported annual revenues of approximately $13.7 billion for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. For more information, visit

Pay and Benefits

Pay and benefits are fundamental to any career decision. That's why we craft compensation packages that reflect the importance of the work we do for our customers. Employment benefits include competitive compensation, Health and Wellness programs, Income Protection, Paid Leave and Retirement. More details are available here.

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Beware of fake employment opportunities using Leidos’ name. Leidos will never ask you to provide payment-related information during any part of the employment application process (i.e., ask you for money), nor will Leidos ever advance money as part of the hiring process (i.e., send you a check or money order before doing any work). Further, Leidos will only communicate with you through emails that are generated by the automated system – never from free commercial services (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail) or via WhatsApp, Telegram, etc. If you received an email purporting to be from Leidos that asks for payment-related information or any other personal information (e.g., about you or your previous employer), and you are concerned about its legitimacy, please make us aware immediately by emailing us at [email protected].

If you believe you are the victim of a scam, contact your local law enforcement and report the incident to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Commitment to Diversity

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, ethnicity, age, national origin, citizenship, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, pregnancy, family structure, marital status, ancestry, domestic partner status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran or military status, or any other basis prohibited by law. Leidos will also consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories consistent with relevant laws.

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